MA Homestead Law
Recently the MA Homestead Law changed for the better, so if you live in MA (or are planning on buying in MA), you want to know what’s going on!
A homestead is protection for owner-occupied one to four family homes, condominiums, manufactured homes and cooperative apartments. A homestead exempts a certain amount of equity in your home from attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy and sale for unsecured debts of the owner of the home. There are some exceptions to this, however. A homestead does NOT protect against the following in Massachusetts:
v Federal, State and local taxes
v Liens recorded prior to the filing/creation of the homestead
v Order of the Probate Court for support
v Levy of sale for ground rents (where homeowner doesn’t own the land)
v Execution from a court to enforce a judgment based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence or lack of capacity
Explanation of recent updates:
As of March 16, 2011, the MA homestead law updates allow MA residents to have an automatic homestead protection of $125,000 on their primary residence . MA residents can also declare a homestead in MA which gives owners a protection of $500,000!
At all real estate closings now in MA the closing attorney must discuss with the buyers the MA Homestead Law and the protection available to the buyers for their homes. If you already take advantage of the MA Homestead Law on your home, it may be worth increasing your protection. You can find the paperwork necessary to file at the Registry of Deeds.
If you have any questions regarding the MA Homestead Law and/or your real estate holdings, feel free to contact Attorney Sherrill Erickson at 978-453-1906. I’ve worked with Sherrill on several occasions and I have found her very knowledgeable and accessible.